Williams calls clubhouse, not ruling out playing

NEW YORK -- An old friend called the New York Yankees clubhouse on Monday -- and left open the possibility he could be stopping by sometime this season.

Bernie Williams Williams

Outfielder Bernie Williams, who declined a minor league spring training invitation and did not attend camp, but has not retired, called about three hours before the Yankees' opener, according to media reports.

And the New York Post reported manager Joe Torre was told that Williams, 38, is still working out and has not written off the possibility of playing this season, preferably for the Yankees. It was the first time Torre and Williams had spoken since February, when Williams declined the minor-league camp invite.

"I know he wants to be here," Torre said, according to the Post.

Williams spoke with Torre and veteran players Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, according to media reports.

Posada told the Post he is "pretty sure" Williams wants to play this season, and he thinks Williams could even skip a season and return in 2008.

"It's a tough thing to do, especially being (38), but I'm sure he can do it if he puts his mind to it," Posada said, according to the Post. "If he's working hard and does the things that keep you in the game, I'm pretty sure anybody can do it."

"It was very nice. It certainly put a smile on my face. He was the same guy. He's a caring individual, and that's what makes him so special," Torre said of Williams, according to the New York Daily News. "He sounded like Bernie; God love him. I told him I wished he had come to spring training, but I certainly respect what he decided to do, which was not come.

"I just hope I can continue my relationship with him, because I felt over the years we developed as close a relationship you can have between player and manager," Torre said.